CALL FOR RESIGNATION OF COOK ISLANDS MINISTER

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RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (October 16, 1998 - Radio Australia)---There have been calls for the resignation of the Cook Islands Minister for Finance and Womens' Affairs, Papamama Pokino.

Radio Australia correspondent Florence Syme-Buchanan reports the Minister has been accused of allegedly having sex in a Government car, while parked in the middle of a main road.

"The Cook Islands Police have confirmed they found the 62-year-old Minister having sex with a young woman delegate to a regional women's conference.

"It's alleged both were drunk, and that they had sex in public again the same night after police drove them to a motel.

"News of the scandal has shocked the Cook Islands.

"The Opposition Democratic Alliance Party says the Minister must resign or be sacked, and wants to know why police did not charge Mr. Pokino.

"Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Henry says he wants to further investigate the allegations before making a decision, and says he won't be pressured by the Opposition or the media.

"Mr. Pokino is in New Zealand attending a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference and has refused to comment on the allegations."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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